Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) is a community outreach program of the Sierra Club. Our volunteer leaders are certified and specially trained in recreational, outdoor, and safety skills as well as environmental education. People who ordinarily would not have access to wild places, including low-income youth of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds are provided wilderness adventures by an enthusiastic corps of volunteers from cities and communities located across the United States.
In the Philadelphia area, our volunteers lead outings for groups of 6 to 12 students from local schools. Typical outings include hiking, canoeing, and overnight camping trips. ICO volunteers introduce a variety of youth to the natural world and provide wilderness adventures to children who ordinarily would not have access to these places.
We are currently in a rebuilding phase and are looking for new trip leaders, volunteers, social planners, fundraisers, etc - we welcome your gifts and time and energy. We hope you can make it out to one of the volunteer meetings over the next few months and of course, one of the trips with the kids, to see what we are all about and get involved.
From backpacking trips to neighborhood cleanups to naturalist-led hikes through local marshes and meadows, ICO volunteers introduce all kinds of people to the natural world and teach them how important it is to protect and restore wild places. ICO volunteers believe that the wilderness exists as a resource for all people and that all people should have access to it.
With the guidance of ICO volunteers, participants discover the beauty of wild lands and how to enjoy these areas without harming them. Young people learn valuable survival skills and strengthen their abilities to face challenges outside urban environments. Interpersonal skills and self esteem develop naturally as a result of teamwork and an active relationship with the outdoors.